HEY 19 LAUNCHES IN TORRANCE-SOUTHERN STYLE BARREL HOUSE
By Michael Hepworth
Demi Stevens knows how to launch a restaurant quickly and cheaply and turn it into a quick success, and she might have done it again with Hey 19 in Torrance. Demi is also the owner of Ortega 120 just round the corner that has become a destination restaurant known for its Mexican food and Tequila cocktails. Hey 19 is more of a Southern Road House that would not look out of place in Arkansas or Louisiana, and
the food served here is pretty tasty and you will not be paying Hollywood or Beverly Hills prices in this very unpretentious place. The atmosphere is dark but not pitch black and if you have halfway decent eyes you should be able to squint at the menu but probably best to take a mini flashlight.
Drink wise the range is not as extensive as Ortega, but I did try the Classic Cup, an enjoyable concoction of Pimms #1, homemade lemonade, ginger ale, cucumber, orange and mint. Good news is that most of the specialty cocktails are in the $7 to $8 range. The beer list is limited however with just Coors Light, Sculpin IPA and Town Lucky Duck Agave Blonde on draft, and about a dozen bottled beers. The wine list is also fairly basic as well with the best options in the whites being the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand at a steal of $26 for the bottle or $7 for the glass. If you prefer red then best bet is the Kenwood Pinot Noir at the same price. If you want to splurge a bit then the Joseph Phelps Fogdog Cabernet must be the best option at $58 for the bottle and $15 a glass.
When it comes to the food the Charcuterie is ridiculous value at $13.75 with smoked and cured meats along with breads, cheeses and the house made pate. I also liked the Rosemary Roasted Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts ($7.50) with a garlic aioli. I also loved the Maple Cajun Spiced Chicken which I believe you can order by itself or with a waffle, and creamed corn along with collards and kale ($13.75). Best dish of the night however was the Sterling Silver Double Cut Pork Chop ($16.50) which is creatively served with collards and kale and a Sage & Bacon sweet potato mash. Throw in the Makers Mark peach chutney and you could easily be in Little Rock.
Also you might want to try the dish strangely known as ‘Chrissy’s Night Off’ which is really Braised Bone in Short Rib with twice cooked pee wee potato and thumbnail carrots ($19.50).Most of the food is secured from the local Torrance Farmers Market by the way. The name of the restaurant pays homage to a classic Steely Dan song but is also named after the owner’s son who by all accounts is a local ice hockey star even at ten years old who wears the #19 jersey.
Address: 4525 Calle Mayor, Torrance
Hours: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM and till 1:30 AM Tuesday-Saturday for late night dining.
Late Nite Happy Hour
Weekends: Live Music